Qigong Comparable to Exercise for Treating Neck Pain

Similar effect regarding neck pain, disability, and quality of life; superior to no treatment

WEDNESDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic neck pain, Qigong is comparable to exercise therapy and superior to no treatment, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of Spine.

Daniel Rendant, M.D., from the Charité University Medical Center in Berlin, and colleagues compared Qigong to exercise therapy and no treatment in 123 patients, aged 20 to 60 years, with chronic neck pain. Participants with a visual analog scale (VAS) greater than or equal to 40 mm, who had neck pain for an average of 3.2 years, were randomized to three groups: Qigong, 18 sessions of exercise therapy over six months, or waiting list (no treatment). The participants completed standardized questionnaires assessing their quality of life, neck pain (VAS), and disability at baseline, and after three and six months.

The investigators found a statistically significant difference between the Qigong and waiting list groups after six months (VAS mean difference, −14 mm). The mean improvement of patients in the exercise group and in the Qigong group was comparable (difference between groups, −0.7 mm) and there was no statistically significant difference between the two. Qigong was found to be superior to no treatment and comparable to exercise therapy in respect to neck pain, disability, and quality of life.

"In this study, Qigong was more effective than no treatment in adults between 20 and 60 years of age with chronic neck pain," the authors write.

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